The Honorable Lord Anthony Thornton is searching for a new mistress when he sees Phillipa Peppiwell at a ball and is enchanted with her beauty. When he seeks an introduction, Phillipa attempts to shut him down until her obsessively unwanted "suitor" Lord Orwell demands a dance. Anthony saves her by telling Orwell she had promised him the current waltz and whisks her away. While Anthony is struggling to fight his attraction to Phillipa (he has been rejected by other ladies of the Ton due to his highly amorous nature) he also pursues Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne. Phillipa is also being courted by Lord Hoyt but she is holding back accepting his proposal due to the scandal in her past. When the secret that Anthony has been withholding is made public, their future is at risk.
I will have to admit that I liked the characters of Anthony and Phillipa. I understood why Phillipa didn't want to marry and why she was cautious around Anthony. The family relationships between Anthony and his siblings and parents were well written. However, I disliked Phillipa's mother and aunt. They only thought of their reputation not how Phillipa felt. Her sister didn't deserve to marry her beau. She only thought of how Phillipa's marriage to Anthony would affect her marriage chances.
This is the second book by Stacy Reid that I have read. It runs concurrent with "The Duke's Shotgun Wedding" and explains what Anthony did that caused the Duke to marry. (If you haven't bought it, DO IT NOW! It was awesome!) Both of the books are steamy hot! I enjoy Ms. Reid's novellas because it isn't plot buried among sex scenes. The sex scenes are well written as part of the plot.
She calls them "novellas" but I hate that word. To me, it is synonymous with stories stuffed in an anthology that I am left wondering where the remainder of the story is. Stacy Reid has NOVELLAS. There is a beginning, middle with a conflict, and an end with conflict resolution and HEA. The characters are not flat like "novellas". There is true character development. Her books are ones that I will read over and over while I am waiting for the next one in the series.
I received this novella as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much!